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Preveza | The hidden gem of Epirus, Greece

Preveza is one of those places where you don’t feel like a tourist. You feel like a guest in a Greek home. An authentic destination, still untouched by tourists, accessible both in terms of transport and budget.

Tourists often pass through Preveza on their way to Lefkada. If you are curious enough to stop, you will discover a charming little town. There are plenty of options for a great holiday in Epirus. Here are my recommendations and a list of the attractions that captivated me in Preveza.

In this article, you can read about
Beaches in the region of Epirus
Preveza, the historic town and three tavernas I like to recommend
What else you can visit near Preveza (Ambracian Bay, Acheron, Kokkinopilos, Nicopolis, Roman Aqueduct, Nekromanteion, Lake Ziros)

*Bonus: at the end of the article you also have a recommendation of guides that made my trip better

The longest beach area in the Mediterranean

preveza artholithia
Artholitia Beach

I think the number one question when choosing a summer holiday in Greece is: how are the beaches? In the case of Preveza, the answer is simple: by choice!
Just a few kilometres from the town of Preveza begins a spectacular stretch of beach. It stretches for about 25 kilometres. The Greeks say it is the longest beach in Europe. I would say it is probably the longest on the Mediterranean coast, because in Romania there is a slightly longer beach between Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe. It’s true that the Romanian beach is wild, not touristy. But going back to Preveza, you will find a beach in every village, in the town or simply in the most unspoilt places. Everywhere the water is very, very clean! The most famous beach is called Monolithi, as the whole length of the beach is commonly called. But it is divided into several beaches with different names.

preveza plaje
View near Loutsa, heading to Alonaki beach

The nice thing is that if you have a car, you can choose the beach that suits your mood every day or discover wild beaches without the noise of people. If you want to be surrounded by more people, music and good vibes, choose a beach bar (I particularly liked Lithos). You have 25 kilometres to choose from if you want to be alone with the sea.

A few examples of beautiful beaches I’ve come across in the area: Artholithia, Alonaki (my favourite), Vrachos, Loutsa, Kanali or Pantokratoras, the one in the area of the castle of Pantocrator.

One thing worth mentioning is that there is no charge for umbrellas or sun loungers in the Preveza region in the landscaped beach areas, but there is a minimum charge at the beach bar. Some 2023 pricing benchmarks from Blue Island Bar Monolithi: a water €0.5, a draft beer €3.5, a coffee the same, and a smoothie €7.5.

There are other options a little further away from Preveza if you want to combine exploring a new place with some beach time. One of the nicest is Bella Vraka Beach, near Syvota. The beach is absolutely gorgeous, and you can reach the island of Mourtemento by water, as there is a stretch where the water is very shallow and sometimes recedes completely.

syvota preveza epirus

In Syvota there are also many opportunities to hire 4-6 person boats, some of which can be driven without a licence with a little training, and you can access wild beaches at will. Prices start from 40 euros. And if you’re looking for a good place to eat near Syvota, look out for Taverna Olga, a lovely lady who cooks deliciously.

Last but not least, you can spend a day in Parga, where the beaches of Valtos and Krioneri are very close to the town. And if you’re staying in the town of Preveza, you can walk from the harbour area to Kiani Akti beach.

Preveza, the historic town

preveza banca

The historic part of the town is small and can easily be explored on foot. It is well worth a walk, especially in the evening when the temperature is pleasant. One of the main attractions in Preveza is the Venetian Clock Tower. Located in the centre of the town, this imposing tower dates back to the 15th century. It is one of the best preserved monuments of Venetian rule in the region. If you look closely, you’ll see that the tower is equipped with a sundial and that the base contains part of a Nikopolis sarcophagus, which was used as a fountain. The church of Agios Charalambos, next to the tower, is also worth a visit.

preveza ceasul venetian

Preveza is excellent for tavernas. We ate very well everywhere and the fish is always fresh and delicious. We had some very good meals in Preveza at Kalofagas for traditional Greek cuisine, at Filippas for seafood and at Treli Garida. Fresh and tasty sardines are a speciality of the region and a dining experience not to be missed in Preveza. This year’s Sardine Festival takes place on 2 September. Two tonnes of sardines will be prepared and served free of charge.

preveza marina

Another pleasant activity is a walk around the harbour of Preveza. It overlooks the Ambracian Bay. Choose a taverna, cafe or end the day with a cocktail at one of the area’s most popular bars, Alila Tales & Spirits.

One thing I feel the need to mention is why I said at the beginning of this article: You don’t just feel like a tourist here. Preveza is a small town where you meet locals at every turn. After a few days you meet the same shopkeeper, the same tavern owner, the same boat captain. You have every opportunity to make Greek friends and feel part of the community. You come for the place, you come back for the people.

What else you can visit near Preveza

1. See the dolphins on a cruise from Ambracian Bay.

preveza dolphins

I’ve seen dolphins in other seas around the world, but never so close and so many. We also saw some huge turtles, overall the experience is wow! You can see some footage from this cruise in this video on my TikTok account.

@danagont.ro

În Golful Ambracian, Preveza, delfinii înoată lângă bărci. Sunt ambarcațiuni fără elice, care nu-i pot răni. Tu i-ai văzut vreodată atât de aproape? #epirus4allseasons #calatorii #vacanta #grecia #preveza #allyouwantisgreece #dolphins

♬ Aquarium – Kevin MacLeod

On this boat trip you will also be able to see from a distance the site of one of the most important battles of the Roman era: the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, between the armies of Octavian and those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. The cruise lasts 5 hours, lunch is included and there is also the option of a swim during the lunch stop. The cost per adult is €55. You can book your place on one of the two traditional Amvrakikos boats online, here: https://amvrakikoscruises.gr/en.

2. Add the ruins of Nicopolis to your list if you’re a history buff.

preveza nicopolis

The archaeological site is of great historical importance. But it is not that spectacular. I mean, you can’t expect to see a place like Jerash. It can also be difficult to sit in the sun when it’s very hot. But if you’re up for it and have the time, I’d recommend a visit to the Nicopolis Archaeological Museum in Preveza. There are about 1000 artefacts on display here. Nicopolis was founded by the Roman emperor Octavian Augustus in celebration of his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

3. Visit the Roman Aqueduct

preveza apeduct nicopolis

Nicopolis became an important cultural and economic centre in the region. To supply the city with water, the Romans built a spectacular aqueduct, more than 50 km long, of which only fragments remains today.

4. If you’ve made it to the Roman aqueduct, a short distance away is a very photogenic spot: Kokkinopilos!

preveza kokkinopilos

It looks like a film set or a landscape on Mars. It is one of the most popular places for photographers. Researchers have tried to explain the origin of these geological formations, and one hypothesis is that the red soil may have arrived here as dust from the African continent.

Kokkinopilos can be reached by car on the Ioannina-Preveza motorway, find the place on the map. There is no entrance fee. If you get hungry in the area, there’s the nearby Lake Zirou (Λίμνη Ζηρού) restaurant. It’s on the edge of the lake of the same name (where you can go canoeing).

5. Walk a day on the Acheron River

preveza acheron

Greek mythology nicknamed it ‘the river of pain’. According to legend, Acheron was a magical river. It separated the living world from the underworld. It was here that the souls of the dead on earth were taken to the underworld.

In reality, the Acheron is far from its mythological reputation as the “River of Sorrows”. It flows through beautiful landscapes, has crystal clear water, majestic gorges and is home to birds and animals.

The Acheron rises in the Tomaros Mountains and flows west to the fishing village of Ammoudia. Here it forms a delta before emptying into the Ionian Sea.

preveza acheron

The Acheron Springs are a good idea for hot days, as the route is through a cool forest. It’s fascinating to see how the river is formed from the water coming out from under the rocks, to enjoy the fresh forest air and the incredible colour of the water.

The mouth of the Acheron River is at Ammoudia. There you can take a boat trip (8 euros per person) to see a bit of the Acheron Delta and its mouth into the sea. The perfect way to end the day is at a taverna, I had a delicious meal at Pateras Taverna.

6.Make a stop at Nekromantheion

If you walk from the source of the River Acheron to the spillway at Ammoudia, you can also stop off at Nekromantheion, an important archaeological site considered to be one of the oldest and most important sites for the practice of necromancy (the art of communicating with the dead) in the ancient world.

An interesting and somewhat strange place where people believed they had met the spirits of the dead through a series of deceptive rituals, games of light and shadow and a poisonous diet that caused hallucinations.

Not to be missed on a holiday to Epirus is a visit to Parga, the star of the region. But I will write more about this in a future article.

The pleasant surprise of this trip to Preveza was that there are many beautiful places on mainland Greece, especially for a modest budget. And the most pleasant memory remains that of the people I met. I highly recommend the two guides who accompanied us all 5 days. They can make your stay more enjoyable, from guided tours to recommendations for tavernas and accommodation. Find Anna and Evrinomi here.

From Bucharest, Preveza can be reached this summer by direct flights to Aktion airport, operated by Wizz Air.
If you enjoyed my journey, please pass the story on. I also recommend reading about The seven wonders of Jordan or 20 places to visit in Corfu.

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This trip was made at the invitation of Epirus Tourism Organisation. The articles and opinions expressed are entirely my own and do not form part of a contract. All collaborations on danagont.ro are selected to correspond to my preferences, rigours and values I believe in.

I'm a journalist and a travel blogger. After more than 20 years in television, I decided to dedicate my time to travel journalism and discover places and people that inspire us.

One Comment

  • Mogu

    11/09/2023 at 14:07

    Esentialul pentru o vacanta reusita in Epirus sunt prezentate in acest articol, care iti ofera intr-un mod platit o lista cu atractiile care m-au captivat in Preveza. Fie ca este vorba despre plaje, taverne, dar si alte locuri precum Golful Ambracic, lacul Ziros si Nekromanteion.

    Daca vrei sa te bucuri de o vacanta linistita pe langa mare, opteaza pentru Preveza. Nisipul alb si apele limpede aduna toata energia pentru un concediu de neuitat. Vei gasi plaje pentru toate preferintele, de la Artholithia la Alonaki, Vrachos, Loutsa sau Pantokrator.

    Reply

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